Sunday, October 10, 2010

Value in BendFilm

My store, my stories.  My blog, my attempt to tie what I do into a nice little package that makes sense.  Why does Cowgirl Cash host "How to BendFilm classes?  First, I wish I could call myself a BendFilm supporter, but my new business does have a marketing budget and BendFilm didn't fit.  I buy my tickets and I consider myself a BendFilm cheerleader. I do not have a background in film, I have self diagnosed ADD, so sitting in theaters hour after hour isn't my thing either, but BendFilm is so much more than that.

Independent film allows a new voice, and a different perspective to be presented without the influence of Hollywood.  Hollywood films have a prescription for success.  Chase scene, love story, big name, multi million dollar star, explosion, blah blah blah.  At Indie festivals you get creative passionate types, on very low budgets trying to create a film that's different, thought provoking, and intelligent.  In the perfect scenario, someone with a Hollywood sized budget discovers the film, and the film maker, and a star is born. Not all of the movies are great, some can be plain boring or stupid, but BendFilm, has a track record for selecting diverse and interesting films. 

This past weekend I saw three films. The first, I Love you Phillip Morris, showed at Sundance and Cannes, and other high profile festivals.  The second was Meeks Trail and was filled with Central Oregon footage.  It was visually stunning and very educational.  Again, that film had shown in Venice....Italy, New York City, and Bend, Oregon.  The third, was World Peace.  It was about an "experimental" teacher who taught 4th graders using a game which resembled Risk.  The students had to overcome many real life obstacles to achieve world peace.  It was incredible, and the audience asked terrific questions afterwards that the filmmaker happily answered.

Both downtown and the Old Mill benefited from the increased tourism.  People were out! Cowgirl Cash had a great weekend, and the restaurants were filled with happy film goers, film makers, and volunteers.

This was BendFilms 7th year, and each year it takes a tremendous effort to pull the festival off.  The board, the volunteers, the sponsors all need to be personally thanked.  BendFilm is not perfect, and like everything they need more funding.  They need a paid executive director and they need a paid fundraiser.

Cowgirl Cash hereby pledges to financially contribute to BendFilm in 2011, and I hope that anyone who stumbles on this blog will as well.

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